Independent developer Convrge is today launching a unique virtual reality (VR) event tonight in the form of an online ‘dance party’. Simply titled VR Nightclub, the software is an evolution of a demo the studio has previously released in November 2014, and is now ready to host multiple users from across the globe for tonight’s event.
The team at Convrge, Shawn Whiting (co-founder of Nashville VR Meetup) and Hayden Lee, originally developed the software using the full-body tracking functionality of Microsoft’s Kinect, however the pair moved on from this idea to create something more approachable by VR enthusiasts. The team decided a social experience would be the right path to follow and that music could be used as a catalyst for this.
“We cranked out a super rough dance club demo in November and after Hayden graduated from school we began working full time on Convrge and getting a new demo out,” stated Whiting in his communications with VRFocus. “I’m really excited to get people into this new dance party demo because its a low poly world and we’ve got it running at 75fps on both of our machines, one of which is about 4 years old, so it should provide a very good experience for most people.”
VR Nightclub invites one user to act as a DJ (Whiting and Lee while be hosting tonight’s event) while other users can take on the form of one of many avatars, including Futurama‘s Leela, Batman, Darth Vader, Adventure Time‘s Finn, Gordon Freeman, Mario, Samus Aran and everyone’s favourite electric mouse, Pikachu.
Although VR Nightclub presents a new chapter for Convrge the team is not stopping there. Set to move the team to California’s Bay Area, Convrge are already looking ahead: “Our long term plan is to keep building out compelling social VR experiences. Our method is to find interesting multiplayer/social VR experiences and to build them out,” offers Whiting. “Hopefully we’ll end up with a social VR playground of different experiences that everyone can have a blast in with their friends.”
Tonight’s dance party is now live and interested parties can download the builds for Windows and Mac formats for free. The experience is designed for the second iteration of the Oculus Rift development kit (aka DK2) but can also be enjoyed on a standard monitor. VRFocus will keep you updated with all the latest details on VR Nightclub and other projects from Convrge.